Chair ATD-fund Anna Drijver: 'We can’t abandon this generation of students'

Anna Drijver, photography: Romy Treebusch

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The ATD fund supports students from all study programmes at the Academy of Theatre and Dance in their bid to successfully complete their studies and enter the professional field. To this   end the fund awards prizes and contributes towards the payment of tuition fees. The current Corona pandemic makes such support all the more urgent. Anna Drijver, chair of the fund explains.   

“The fund ensures that each year a number of prizes and scholarships are awarded. The various  juries deliver their verdict and we award the prize money to the winners. Grants from the Jan Kassies fund go towards sponsoring tuition fees of students who have financial difficulties. The Top Naeff prize and the André Veltkamp Grant are meant for students who display outstanding talent as actor or performer.”  

Being noticed
“In 2008 I graduated from the ATD and I know how intensive the study programme can be; how hard you need to work. The study programme suddenly takes over your life; you are constantly busy trying to relate to what’s happening and the world around you. It’s therefore important to students that they know that people are aware of all the hard work they put in. I’m glad that the Jan Kassies fund  allows us to help those students who lack the money to pay their tuition fees.”

No income through Corona
“Corona has made us more aware of the hardships that students face. Jobs in the hospitality sector have been suspended, international students are marooned abroad and internships have been cancelled. However, we also see how flexible actors, makers and dancers can be. Last summer they managed to organize from scratch an impressive online graduate festival. Especially now, I have a real desire to see theatre being performed on stage. We can’t let these students down.”

Flying start
By awarding these prizes we acknowledge all the talent displayed by students. A prize can kickstart a career but our goal is not to see an immediate return. If a student wins the Top Naeff award and decides to use the thousand-euro prize money to buy a keyboard or travel to Paris to wander along the Seine: that’s fine with us. The prize conveys the message: we believe in your talent.”

New dance prize
“Finally there is also a fantastic prize for dancers: the Henny Kamerman Dansersprijs. Henny Kamerman introduced jazz dance to the study programmes and was the opinionated artistic director of the Jazztheater- en Showmusicaldans study programme (the current UC/JMD study programme). The jury will reflect on her energy and contrariness in the dance world when awarding this prize to the most remarkable young dancer.”

“Everyone can donate to the ATD Fund. Each donation contributes to our mission. Of course we are also pleased to receive a legacy or structural donations. The tax benefits granted to a fund with ANBI status make it all the more appealing for a potential donor. But in truth, if you have ever enjoyed theatre or dance, you will understand how special exceptional talent is. If there’s one thing that has become clear to us in recent times, it’s that you must support those things that make you happy.”

Want to know more about the ATD fund or how to donate directly? See